Stock picking and paid newsletters?


This question is mostly for active investors. I know that most mustachians prefer ETFs to manual stock picking and I have absolutely no problem with that. Please be assured that I understand and respect this strategy and don’t want to start an active vs passive investing debate.

To active investors in this forum, are you subscribed to paid newsletters or do you have any experience with stock recommendation services? I have registered a couple of free trial memberships here and here and found some interesting portfolios.

A friend who is a convinced stock picker has subscribed to some newsletter of Max Otte. He seems to like it. I have never seen it myself, nor am I interested, as I follow a passive strategy.

Edit: the newsletter is not freely available and I know that my friend pays something for it, so it fulfills your criteria. :slight_smile:

I have a lifetime subscription (, good reports :wink:


I have subscribed to Motley Fool for many years. The returns on about 80% of the picks have been fantastic. I put 25% into a Motley Fool ‘play’ fund and it has returned more than the other 75% which are in ETFs. The cost of the subscription is minimal and likely offset from your first stock purchase within a month. The one negative is the constant up selling to their other secret picks which I don’t bother with.


@MeowMeowFuzzyface Thanks, I am going to have a look, price seems very reasonable. Since you probably paid around 1k for membership, I won’t ask if you like the service, the answer is pretty obvious. In your opinion, is the exclusive content you are getting with the lifetime membership worth the extra $$$?

@SwissChalet Interesting, I have come across the Motley fool and their “stock advisor” membership was on my list. I checked reddit trying to find some opinions about their recommendations. Reddit being what it is, it’s difficult to interpret what comes out … True that nobody likes the clickbait advertising, experiences were somewhat of a mixed bag, it seemed that most complainers jumped off the boat right after the trial period and haven’t actually used the service long enough to deliver a valuable advice. A couple of very positive subscribers said they have had success with many of the fool’s picks. I guess the service has been around for a while and would be long gone if it was a scam.

Actually you only need the basic plan for 200 USD per year. I am sure with enough reading elsewhere you could find these picks yourself but 200 USD may not be a lot of money for you (?) to save the time. They have MANY other up sell packages which they try hard to upsell. I know the Rule Breakers portfolio does well too. Good luck

Forgot to say that I read recently (forget where) that they have 700k members. On the day they make a pick, the stocks go up by a few points, which tells me they must have a pretty big follower base acting ASAP on the advice. Yes lots of negative comments on Reddit for sure. The good news is that it is cheap enough for you to find out for yourself - 200 USD is not a lot BUT if it is a lot, you should not be playing this game.

It’s kind of the wrong forum for that, but I’d for sure be interested in advice on active trading.

I also have been subscribed to The Motley Fool, but only for some weeks. I can second everything @SwissChalet writes. Some of their picks within these few weeks are up about 30%, but obviously it has been good weeks for stocks recently and I don’t know yet how it will turn out long-term. But apart from the really obnoxious upselling and constant self-compliments they seem to know what they are doing and as far as I can say their advice is fair and useful. For example, they advise everyone to also buy ETFs for diversification (money that then is not spent on their stock picks) and while hidden they also advice people that fees for their membership should not exceed 2% of the capital to be invested, i.e. maybe not to buy their sometimes expensive services if you don’t have 50x the capital to invest.

Based on that, if you want to invest at least 5-10k on individual, USD stocks (they are very US-centric) over the next 12 months, do consider them. Stock advisor is 200 USD per year, or 99 USD on discount. Rule breaker is the same (?), but more aggressive and volatile. I have considered it, but not yet got it.

Be warned. Otte is a ultra right wing dude and mostly a waste of time.

I am subscribed to Travis Johnson’s irregular trades and Andrès Cardenal’s data driven investor. They are both recent additions so I can not comment much on results…

Andrès Cardenal provides research reports, shares his portfolio and tracks his performance. What I like about his service is that he’s not just dropping ticker names, he maintains a spreadsheet with recommended buy prices and follows up his past recommendations. His typical picks are mostly cloud, e-commerce companies, along with a few other names in health care service or genomics research.

Travis Johnson also shares his portfolio. He comments a lot on other newsletters recommendations, adding his own analysis and research. His service isn’t very expensive and I like his somewhat neutral/unbiased approach.

It would certainly be interesting to share our documentation. A private multi-channel chat like rocketchat or discord would work well for that purpose. You can upload documents, register email alerts and discuss the picks with other members if you want.
I just don’t think that it can be public, since most of our stuff is paid content and can’t made publicly visible, but for a small group of members who don’t mind sharing their resources, that would certainly work.

@Myfirstme from what I learned, stock advisor should be your main choice unless you have plenty of cash or are out of investing ideas. Rule breakers sounds more like a high-risk high-reward strategy, but I read that many subscribers like mixing recommendations from both services. They also have a crazily-priced “supernova” premium subscription, but there is not much information available about this last one.

I didn’t know that. There’s a video on YouTube where he debates with Gerd Kommer. Keeps interrupting him and says a few things that are utterly ridiculous.

100% agreed, that’s what these newsletters are for.

I wholeheartedly agree. I was warned that the conversion rate of his free newsletters to the paid reports is 60%. Nevertheless I started to read all free weekly dispatches and the journey the author has taken me on is mind-boggling. There is enough information to check out how his recommendations have panned out in the past. Clear opinions, honest to himself, quirky and very value-oriented in the pricing of the paid reports. I might subscribe, maybe even as a lifetime member…

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I was looking for some ‘feedback’ about The Motley Fool platform because I’ve just seen they are offering 60% off today to new members (79 instead of 199).

@Myfirstme @SwissChalet @MeowMeowFuzzyface
Do you still have a subscription? How does the service works? Only stocks or also ETFs? And do you have a positive feedback/returns? Thank you!

Is The Motley Fool only US market or worldwide? They compare against S&P 500 so I suspect it’s only US market. But indeed it’s interesting and could need some input as I’m currently building a system for my active portfolio but it’s still in alpha stage :wink:

I have tried the Motley Fool Stock Advisor on a trial and I cancelled halfway out.
The upselling is obnoxious and it’s frankly just too low signal-to-noise.
I want entry positions, target prices, confidence levels - and then the context for backdrop.
What I remember seeing with the MF newsletters is this:

→ spend more money with us
→ bragging about how good everything is in the OTHER package
→ here’s some stock tips of stocks you never heard of
→ if you’re happy with the above, here’s an EVEN BETTER LIST of stocks you could try
→ do you want to try EVEN MORE? We have a Premium Subscription for $1000 a year, 1 month free, CLICK HERE

In the end I was put off by the constant bloat that was coming in email.

For those who made a good profit - did you know those stocks previously? The markets just went up for about 10 years almost in a straight line, so picking anything was supposed to be an easy job. Did they tell you when to exit? Or have you been warned about risks in time?

Another one I’m eyeing is → they youtube channel has excellent free content, I’m a bit put off by the $350 yearly subscription though. Is anyone “in”?


Hmm that’s off putting. If I pay for something then I want it basically ad-free and that means including their own ads.

your experience may vary, but they have everything from 200 a year to 2000 a year, depending on how much you want to pay :smiley:

get the free trial, nothing to lose there.

I still subscribe to their Stock Advisor service, on a discount, but I’m not sure that I will renew again.

Upselling is a problem as @user137 describes, but you can opt-out of all marketing emails, so cut down on that drastically.

My problems, first I started subscribing shortly before what must have been one of their worst years performance-wise. They used to have fantastic, market-beating returns up to 2020. 2021 was atrocious by comparison. A lot of their stock picks are unprofitable tech companies that are now being punished by the market. They rightly say it’s about long-term investing and we’ll have to see after 5 years, they are also moving somewhat away from unprofitable tech, but still, right now I am not happy with their stock picks.

Second, as with the stock market in general, your returns will heavily depend on a few high performing winners. They send you 2 dozen stock picks per year, plus some more as foundational stocks, which you are recommended to hold 5 years or more. If you want to mirror their returns and not miss on those super hits, you must buy as many of these picks as possible. Meaning, your portfolio will get pretty large pretty fast.

They do advise to hold a big proportion in ETFs and give you some advice there, but that’s basic and you know that already I’d say. They also include international stocks and offer special services (at a higher rate) concentrating on those, but Stock Advisor is heavily US-biased.

I’m also reading (the free versions) of the following, but I can’t say if their picks are market-beating or not. They make for good reading though in my opinion:

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